A Mother's Memories of Murder: Ann Bauers

Ann Bauers remembers her exact thoughts while sitting in a courtroom listening to sworn testimony about the final moments of her son's life before he was beaten to death.
"I would think back to our Lord Jesus on the cross - 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do.' They did not realize, or care maybe, about the pain they caused."

"It had a ripple effect that none of them could understand. I doubt any of them gave a thought to the hurt they caused a family, let alone taking a life," she said, sitting in the building on U.S. 60 near Wilson Creek where survivors of horrific crimes will gather Saturday to support one another.

Brian Keith Waugh
"He was a funny kid. He was a good little boy. He was a joker," Bauers said, citing an early moment when he blurted out a rhyme which broke the family's rules about language.

"He was sitting there in his little rocking chair just rocking and he said 'Hell's Bells!' Everybody wanted to laugh but … He was maybe three years old."

Keith, as his family knew him, attended Star Elementary and East Carter High School before earning his G.E.D. in order to pursue a career in carpentry. He worked for a contractor on a job at a bowling alley in Franklin, Ohio before returning home to Carter county for a short period while waiting for his next job at The Campbell House in Lexington.

The Phone Call
Bauers said she was in Lexington, planning a shopping trip with family members when her husband, Terry, called.

"I remember it just like yesterday. My husband called and said 'You need to get home.'
"That was very unusual so I asked him what was wrong and he just said, ' You need to get home.'

"I told him I didn't want to drive two hours wondering what was wrong and he said, 'Please. Just come on home.'
"I asked him again and he finally said, 'It's Keith.' I said, 'Is it his diabetes? Just tell me,' and he said, 'He's dead.'"

Bauers said she screamed in a way she is uncomfortable describing, then asked what had happened.
"He said he was beaten to death."
"The first thing I wanted to know was who did it. They did not know."

 Her daughter, Shara Savage, "flew home," while a cousin, Gwen Hall, found ways to add time to Bauers arrival back in Carter County.
"She delayed me getting home so I would not see my son took out in a body bag."

Her son, Randy, along with his pastor and several others, were at the scene of Keith's murder when Bauers arrived. Randy had to be restrained by his friends as officials removed his brother's body, she said.

Investigation, Funeral Arrangements and Justice 
"He was killed on a Thursday. There were arrests by Friday and by Saturday morning we were at Sparks Funeral Chapel making funeral arrangements," she said. "And then we were right on into the court system."

Watching the judicial system in action "is not easy at all," she said, quickly crediting the role prosecutors including David Flatt and retired KSP Detective Rob Garnes in helping her family through the proceedings.

"I know there are others who have been fighting for justice who've been treated badly by some of the officials," Bauers said, citing her appreciation for the team who prosecuted her son's killers.

When court proceedings concluded, six adults and one juvenile were convicted of killing Brain Keith Waugh.
Prosecutors proved to the court the group had collectively executed a plan to "do whatever it took" to rob Waugh of cash they knew he had after selling a personal watercraft, she said.

In The Courtroom
Bauers and others could not react to testimony or show any emotion during testimony about her son's murder. They knew, she said, that any such display would result in immediate ejection from the courtroom, and she did not want to miss a single word.

Testimony from the accused juvenile was particularly difficult to hear without reaction, she said.

"He said, 'I was looking for money,' while the others beat Keith. You are sitting there biting your lip and praying and you have praying people all around you. There was a lot of praying going on in that courtroom," Bauers said, pausing briefly before reciting the juvenile's testimony about what he did before leaving the murder scene.

"He said, 'I took a run and go and gave him one last kick in the head.'"

The Toll
"It takes a toll on your physical body and your mental health," Bauers said of her own, and her family's, efforts to find closure and move on with their lives.

She has a list of ailments she has dealt with since her son's death, and quickly notes her son and daughter continue to have difficulties directly related to the murder.

"For me, I kept it together because of my faith. I am very strong in my faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what gave me my strength," she said. "My husband was a source of strength also. All the way. He kept us all together."

Helping Others
Bauers said others whose lives have been forever altered by "horrific crimes" will find comfort in the company of others who genuinely understand what they are going through during the National Day of Remembrance event Saturday in Carter County, from noon until 4 p.m. at The National Hope and Justice For Crime Victims headquarters at 5201 U.S. Highway 60.

"They will get encouragement and support from each of us who have already been through this. And we do understand what they are feeling."